Drug Possession Arrest

One of the most frequent criminal charges in Florida is the charge of drug possession. Drug possession is an offense by an individual who did not make, distribute, or sell the controlled substance, but who has possession of it. A drug possession charge is levied against a defendant who likely held the controlled substance for personal use. Possession of most controlled substance is in Florida are charged as a third-degree felony. The state does allow however a first-degree misdemeanor charge for simple possession of marijuana in an amount less than 20 grams.

In order to establish the elements of a drug possession charge certain elements must be proven by the prosecution.

In order to establish the elements of a drug possession charge certain elements must be proven by the prosecution.

  • The state must present evidence that the seized material is a controlled substance in Florida. This generally requires analysis by a crime lab to prove what the substance is.
  • The state must prove that the defendant had actual knowledge or should have known about the illicit nature of the substance and its presence.
  • The state must prove the defendant had control over the location and presence of the controlled substance. Generally this will be easier to prove if the defendant had the drugs on their person or in a container they were holding. However it can also be established by describing the location where the controlled substance was found and showing that the defendant had control of the premises.
The state has a duty to prove all of the above elements to prosecute an individual for possession of a controlled substance. Some common defenses to drug possession charges are:
  • Lack of knowledge that the substance was a controlled substance
  • A valid prescription from a medical professional
  • No actual possession of the controlled substance
  • Fourth amendment violation from unlawful search and seizure

Florida’s state laws set a range of drug offense punishments. These punishments vary depending on the type of substance, the amount of the substance in possession, the charges alleged, and other factors. Florida State’s laws also require an increased sentence in cases where the defendant has a prior criminal history with violence or felonies.

Any drug possession charge is a very serious allegation and should be handled with the utmost attention and care. These charges, if proven will stick with an individual for the rest of their life. Charges from even a minor offense today will have broad reaching effects on the rest of your life. You will have a duty to report these charges and to answer any questions accurately to any future employers about your criminal history. If you are found guilty of a felony, you will lose important civil rights and privileges.

With careful planning and diligent defense, our firm can present your case advantageously leading to reduce the charges, and even full dismissal of all charges. In any criminal defense matter it is important to get started on your defense right away. There are things that we, as your defense team, can do even before your first appearance that will help to shape the outcome of the overall case.